Foster Parent Recruitment Initiative to Expand Statewide In Oregon

A Portland outreach program meant to recruit more foster parents will expand statewide over the next five years.

Called “Embrace Oregon” in Portland, the program will be known across the state as “Every Child.”

The program is an outreach effort sponsored by nonprofits and the Oregon Department of Human Services to combat a shortage of foster homes that’s sometimes forced kids to be put up in hotels or sleep in state office buildings.

Shane Witham and his wife have been foster parents around five years. The Keizer couple came to a kickoff event for Every Child held in Salem on Friday.

“I’m super excited for Every Child to get the traction in Marion County and in Oregon to have more families so that every kid is not crammed into a house and so that there’s enough resource to go around,” said Witham.

Leaders of Every Child stress the state needs more than foster parents to make the system work.

People can also help by donating supplies for kids in foster care, serving as short-term caregivers so foster parents can have a break and making care packages for children who are awaiting placement.

OPB, January 27, 2017